The Trojan War: Post-Homer

November 11, 2009

CC 303 Intro to Classical Mythology - Fall 2009
Department of Classics, University of Texas at Austin, Prof. Lawrence Kim

Penthesilea, Neoptolemus, Philoctetes, Ajax, Lemnos, Odysseus, Paris, Deus ex machina

  1. The Tenth Year of the War
    1. Trojan Reinforcements
      1. Penthesilea the Amazon
      2. Memnon the Ethiopian
    2. Achilles kills both
    3. Paris kills Achilles with an arrow to the heel/ankle
      1. Ajax recovers Achilles' corpse
      2. Contest of Achilles' Arms: Ajax vs. Odysseus
      3. Suicide of Ajax after he loses
        • Plans to murder Greek heroes
        • Insane, he slaughters cattle and sheep instead
        • Shamed, he falls upon his sword, given to him by Hector
    4. Odysseus kidnaps Helenus, prophet of Troy
      1. Helenus' prophecy: three things required to conquer Troy
        • Achilles' son Neoptolemus (born on Scyros)
        • Bow of Heracles (Philoctetes has it on Lemnos)
        • Statue of Pallas Athena (Palladium) held in Troy
    5. Odysseus steals Palladium, gets Neoptolemus
    6. Sophocles’ Philoctetes
      • Philoctetes’ wounded; left on Lemnos at beg. of war
      • Odysseus, Neoptolemus trick him
      • Intervention of Heracles (deus ex machina: 'god out of the machine')
Return to Syllabus
  1. Achilles and Penthesilea.
  2. The death of Achilles. A drawing of a lost 6th century black-figure vase. The vase depicts a battle over the corpse of Achilles. Ajax protects the corpse from Paris, who appears with his bow on the right.
  3. Ajax plants his sword in the ground in preparation for his suicide. Attic Black-figure belly amphora by Exekias (potter and painter), c. 530-525 BCE. Musée Communal, Boulogne-sur-Mer.
  4. Detail of dead Ajax discovered by Diomedes, Phoenix, Nestor, Agamemnon, Teucer, and Ajax. Middle Corinthian kylix by the Cavalcade Painter, c. 580 BCE. Antikenmuseum, Basel.
  5. Philoctetes on Lemnos. Attic red figure lekythos, c. 430 BCE. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.